tv Piers Morgan Tonight CNN December 14, 2012 9:00pm-10:00pm PST
means that those parents who were not reunited with their children, they know that those children's bodies are still in the school tonight, those teachers, those adults who were also shot, the six of them, the bodies are also in the school tonight. positive identifications have to be done. the coroner's office has a huge task. the investigation of the shots, over 1 0 100 rounds by one estimation. there is a massive emotional prong for this community to hea we head many to the holidays across the country. ashleigh banfield reporting. piers morgan tonight starts now. breaking news, you are looking at a community in mourning after one of the worst mass shootings in history.
police say a gunman killed 20 young children from 5 to 10 years old. the shootings took place in two rooms in one section of the school and he killed at least six adults before can killing himself. police found the body of the suspect's mother's home earlier in the day. a prayer vigil took place. hundreds in attendance. at the white house another vigil was held. people holding candles but the call was for more gun control. many say the tragedy demands tougher legislation. a visibly shaken president obama offered these words about the mass killing. >> the majority of those who died today were children. beautiful little kids between the ages of 5 and 10 years old.
they had their entire lives ahead of them. birthdays, graduations, weddings, kids of their own. among the fallen were also teachers. men and women who devoted their lives to helping our children fulfill their dreams. >> highly emotional president obama reflecting how most of the nation would have been feeling and tonight police have identified the killer as adam lanza. this is his brother ryan lanza being taken into questioning. much more on the shooter ahead. i spoke with the former classmate. susan candiotti has new details from outside the school. a desperate day for the school and the families of the poor children and for america. what do we know about the person who perpetrated the hideous crime? >> it is so heart breaking. we are learning he is 20-year-old adam lanza.
we know, according to our sources, that for whatever reason when he came to the school this day, he was wearing what is described to me as black battle fatigues and a military vest. he came armed with three weapons. two of them hand guns. one as a glock and another as a sig sauer and a third police found in the vehicle. the two weapons were found on him in the school. the third was found, the bush master which is a semi automatic was found in a car outside the school. what led him to this? we don't know. we do know this. police have questioned both his brother and his father. his brother was taken into custody for questioning only. he is not being called a suspect. from his apartment in hoboken, new jersey. we understand the father was also questioned by authorities here in the newtown, connecticut area. the father is divorced from
nancy lanza. she is the mother of the two who is a school teacher and counted among the dead. her body was found in a residence here in the newtown area, as well. believe it or not, piers, the weapons according to authorities were owned by the mother, nancy lanza in this case. not by the shooter. still trying to piece together a motive. there signs we are hearing for our sources that the shooter may have suffered from some kind of personality disorder. did he leave notes behind? did he tell anyone what he was planning to do? among the many questions that we all have tonight. >> thank you very much indeed. i want to turn to ashleigh banfield. she's in newtown, connecticut, as well. i was watching when you were speaking to wolf blitzer and you became very emotional. two of your children went to school in connecticut and you were not sure what was happening with them.
thankfully, they were okay. but this is every parent's nightmare. from what we understand the bodies of still lying there on what the police are calling the crime scene of the school. the parents can't even see them. it's an unimaginable horror. >> there is no other way to put it. unimaginable horror and an evil visited upon the community according to the governor of connecticut who spoke here earlier. another detail for you that i want to share about how some of these parents learned they wouldn't be seeing their children again. i think you already know the detail that many of the children were rushed out of the school. out of the sandy hook elementary by the police and teachers and raced on foot to a nearby fire station which became the staging area. they were robo calls that went out. we heard the robocalls saying parents of the sandy hook students, come to this fire station to be reunited with your children. throughout the day there was one area within that fire station where the children were kept and
they were shown movies until their parents could come and find them. there was another area where a number of the parents were milling about, waiting for students to be brought into the fire station. you can imagine it was a chaotic scene for sometime. slowly but surely over the course of the day parents arrive and children were taken away and parents continued to wait and other children didn't arrive and ultimately there was a moment where they had to tell the waiting parents there will be no more reunions tonight. i'm told from someone who was inside that area in a room adjacent that at the moment the parents were told there would be no more children coming there were wails that were released. the person who told me this she said she completely broke down. there was a nurse on hand who volunteered having worked two decades in the business. her brother telling me that she just wanted to be there and help in any way she could as a grief
counsellor and was present at that time as well. a horrifying moment if you can imagine being those parent who is waited and waited and waited only to hear this and ultimately like you said, they know the bodies of their children are still in that school tonight. >> it's hard to imagine anything worse in the world. thank you for now. i will be joined by the mayor of danbury right next to newtown. thank you for joining me. this is almost beyond description, beyond any understanding. how is the community dealing with this or are they? what can you do? >> well, obviously it's been a horrific day in the greater danbury area and particularly the town of newtown. our heart goes out to the individuals who lost loved ones today and obviously the children and the staff and everybody else. it's been an incredibly difficult day.
i have to tell you, they have been working hard and can't be with us right now but is doing what needs to be done. the first responders were tremendous and the staff have been heroic in terms of their approach to this. it's an absolute international tragedy and crisis. >> i understand that you knew the principal of the school who also was killed. >> that's correct. i had the honor of working in the same school system and very close proximity to dawn who passed away today. she was a teacher in the school system and elevated up through the ranks and ended up the principal here in newtown. a committed, hardworking and dedicated educator. someone who cared deeply about the kids and put kids first in every facet and every way in which she executed her job and
somebody who we all admired working with her children as a professional. >> extremely sad day and i appreciate you joining me. i can only wish you the very best. we are trying to rebuild the community. did you know if there plans for more vigils tomorrow? >> there are vigils scheduled throughout the weekend. in addition that, connecticut itself is having a simultaneous vigil that they are trying to organize right now where each town and village and city will take a moment out and spend time reflecting and maybe starting once we get through this initial horrendous shock and reflecting a little bit about our public policy positions as they relate to things like gun control and how we deal with folks that are mentally disabled. once we understand this horrific tragedy that occurred.
that conversation will be started over the next couple of weeks. >> thank you very much indeed for joining me. >> thank you, piers. >> we can't imagine what it was like in the school. sofia lobinski was there and just 8 years old. she joins me with her brother, brenda, thank you both for joining me. if i may start with you, brenda. this is every mother's nightmare. when was the first you heard about this and how did you hear? >> i received a call from the school system from the superintendent saying that there was a shooting in newtown, but didn't say it was a school. that the schools were on lockdown. i wasn't too concerned because i didn't know where it happened. i received a text on my phone from a news organization and they said that sandy hook school had a shooting. i got in my car and i went over to the school and there were
already state police and the fire and newtown police. >> when you got there, obviously scenes of complete chaos, how quickly was it that you realized your daughter was safe? >> okay. when i got there, there was complete chaos, but i did see moms and a neighbor and asked them what happened and they said they didn't know. that there was a shooting and i saw a neighbor like i said and he said they carried out a little girl and she looked like she was dead. instantly i panicked because of my baby here, but thankfully no sooner he said that i looked towards the kids being brought from the school to the firehouse and i saw her class and i ran up and i said where is sofia and they said she is okay. she's coming. i saw her with her teacher and we all were taken into the firehouse and kept so they could do a roll call and make sure all
the students were accounted for. >> sofia, it's been a terrifying day for you and your friends. what did you think was happening. were you aware somebody was firing a gun in the school? >> can you hear, honey. >> not really. >> what she told me is they heard pops in the hallway. the teacher told me also, courtney martin is my hero, she locked the door immediately and brought all the kids to a corner of the room where they stayed there. they were scared and shaken, but they didn't know what was going on until later when they were brought into the firehouse. police came and knocked on the door and said it's okay, you can come out. they guided them to the back of the school and they walked over to the firehouse. that's where i caught up with sofia.
>> how is sofia now? it must have been a traumatic experience for all the children who survived this. >> i think she is numb right now. she is a pretty bright kid and she has a big support staff at home and we love her very much and she will be fine. we are devastated for the rest of the families. we don't know who was hurt. i do know my close friends's children are okay, but we don't know who the children were. >> i don't know if she can hear me or not, but i wondered if she wanted to say anything about what happened to her today. >> do you want to say anything, honey? are you sure? >> she too cold now. >> she should probably go home with her mom. it's been a terrifying day for everybody involved. i am so grateful that you were
able to see your daughter. obviously your heart must go out to the poor families who have not been able to see their poor children again. >> it's a small community and it's a close-knit school and devastating. i will be here for anybody and our prayers go out to all the families. >> thank you very much indeed. >> i'm just the luckiest lady right now. >> thank you. >> thank you very much indeed for joining me. i appreciate it. >> thank you. thank you. >> very lucky indeed. the gunman is adam lanza and joining me is lanza's former classmate, alex israel. thank you for joining me. you knew this character. is this something you could have predicted he would one day flip and do something as monstrous as this? >> i don't know if you can ever predict something like that would happen. you never think it's going to happen to your school and where
you lived your whole life. i don't know if i could predict it. there was something off about him. i knew him closely when we were very young in elementary school together. he was always a little bit different. he mostly stuck to himself. i don't know if you can say you can predict this. >> he was by all accounts a pretty clever young man, almost a genius in math. tell me about that side of him. >> i was never in any of his classes or anything like that, but yeah, you could definitely tell he was i would say a genius. there was definitely something there that was a little bit above the rest of us. >> did he have friends? was he sociable? >> i always saw him alone when he was walking through the school or sitting at the table, sitting on the bus. i'm sure he had a few maybe close friends through school or through his classes.
most of the time i saw him, he was alone. yeah. >> how would you describe his personality? >> he was really quiet. he kept to himself. he was a little fidgety. a little uneasy sometimes if you were to look at him. i think he was just socially not really into going out there and making as many friends as everyone was doing in elementary school and middle school. he preferred to stay to himself. >> did you know his family, his mother in particular? >> i knew her because we lived in the neighborhood. i knew her through neighborhood events. my mom knew her. she was a very nice woman. a kinder garten teacher obviously. i didn't know her personally, but from what i remember, she was a nice woman. >> his parents got divorced. were you aware of that having a big impact on him? >> i don't know when they got divorced.
i have known him since about first grade and he has always been the way i described him. reserved and quiet. so i don't know if the divorce had anything to do with that or when they divorced. that could have caused that or made it worse as he got older and came more reserved. i'm not sure if that affected it. >> where were you when you heard and what was your immediate reaction when you discovered it was this person you knew? >> it was devastating. i'm in london now studying here for the semester and coming home on thursday to this. i found out first early this morning i guess probably when it broke at home. it was around 2:00 and the first information of it, it's devastating in a town where you have known up. i felt safe my whole life and i was raised in that elementary school and the school system there and finding out it was someone i knew who had done all
of this is just upsetting. you can't imagine that would ever happen. >> the community around newtown, how would you describe it? i'm hearing it was a very quiet place. stuff like this just never happens. they don't get many shootings and gun murders. this is an exceptional kind of place in that sense. >> no. i mean it's a pretty big town space-wise. we span over a pretty vast array of land, but it's really close-knit in that everyone knows each other and is close with each other and the school systems are close. you grow up with these people and go to school with them. everyone really came together, i think, through this and is supporting each other quite well. that's one good thing to come out of it if anything. >> when was the last time you spoke to adam lanza? >> probably middle school. i didn't have any connection with him in high school.
middle school probably. the last time i said a word to him. >> your summary is kind of fidgety and slightly a loner and not massively sociable, but not apparently dangerous. >> no, i mean i never noticed anything scary or violent or anything like that. i would never have expected that from him, i don't think. just for someone who sort of went under the radar and kept to themselves, you wouldn't really think of them as doing something crazy like this. >> it must have been a heck of a shock to you and i am grateful for you joining us to give us perspective on the character of this person. thank you. >> thank you. >> the psychology of the shooter, adam a lanz is a. two experts are here to talk about the gunman. tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 let's talk about low-cost investing.
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responsibility it was to educate and supervise those children. the perpetrator of the crime is dead, as is an individual who the perpetrator lived with. >> the connecticut governor talking about this tragedy. we have new information on the gunman. what could have driven him to do this? let's start with you if i may. i have been involved in many of these kinds of incidents and possibly nothing as appalling as this. there seems to be a pattern with aurora and the shopping mall shooting last week. young men in their early 20s suddenly flipping and getting ahold of weapons and causing outrages. what is driving them? what is the possible background to what is going on here?
>> working on a lot of these cases there a number of different causes that can be divided into two broad categories. one category is people who have that trait of a loss of empathy and inability to connect to other people and a history of cruelty or what people talk about as sociopaths or antisocial personality. at the other end people with brain disorders and serious mental illnesses that are untreated or because of what's happening in their life, exacerbated by stress. it sounds like the little bit that is coming out, we are more in a direction that this is someone with a brain disorder and other parts of the story that it may take years to uncover it. there is nothing sudden about any of these stories. that's the headline for me. it's sudden for us that this happened. as you begin to understand the
story, i assure you the warning signs were there. not that they were ignored, but they were not recognized. >> are people like this as likely to carry out what they end up doing if they didn't have easy access to firearms? >> look, there is no question that firearms play a role. i can tell you from experience if somebody wants to kill a number of people, there other weapons of destruction and ways to make bombs and at least one case i worked on. firearms are certainly an important part of the picture, but understanding when somebody has a mental illness if it it i has played a role here and i'm not saying that i know that it has, that should be considered before allowing that person to have a firearm. >> frank, you specialize in treating post traumatic stress and the effects of violence.
a very particular problem here with so many young people at the school who have luckily survived. having to deal now with the horror of losing possible friends and people that they knew from the school and teachers and the head teacher and so on. where do you start with trying to counsel young children when this kind of appalling thing happens? >> i think the first thing is helping the parents. the children look to their parents and for the parents, some of them are stunned. they are grieving. they lost a precious 6-year-old. for the children themselves, sometimes children who go through this and do survive take a while to make sense out of it. they may regress and move backwards a year or two in terms of their normal development. some of them will figure out
years later what actually happened. some are going to do relatively well. they will be sadder and wiser in a way. the most important thing is what i see happening right now. that community is coming together. people are loving each other. the president has come to remind us that we are a nation who cares and he came as a father. i am a father and a grandfather. i have called my children and i want to know how they are doing with their children. as we come together, we do the best that we can at a sad time like this. >> i suppose the big question is why would this shooter do what he did? go to a classroom and murder so many young children of such a young tender age, possibly the classroom that his mother was already killed at their home.
can you try to piece from your experience the thought process here? why he would then having killed his mother go to the school and do what he did? >> i don't have a crystal ball and i haven't diagnosed or assessed him. people with mental illness are not more violent. let me be crystal clear about that. because that's not the case. that's not the data that we have. if indeed mental illness is a part of this, there is a particular path that needs to be looked at. are they depressed and suicidally depressed. his roommate alex israel said he preferred to stay alone. a symptom of asperger's and one report coming out which may or may not be true. something is missing in the brain. a sense of empathy and social connection that leaves this person suffering from this condition. they are prone to serious
depression and anxiety. if they are suicidally depressed, we don't know enough. what i am trying to do in agreeing to come here is to ask people to don't rush to judgment about who this young man is. if it was mental illness that played a role, it's an opportunity for us to do better. >> there is a school that you shouldn't give him attention and name him and so on because it brings attention to him. he's dead so he won't be able to bask in the appalling glory of what he did, but secondly these -- there's a patten of these young men. >> you can make an assumption that we wants to bask in the glory of what he did. i have met shooters. i have spent many hours with people who have done something like that. they don't necessarily want glory. they are seriously ill. and others that do want glory. so you are rushing to the an interpretation on this.
>> sorry. >> i would like to endorse that also. i know for the whole country, we really want to know why this happened. when you are a parent you can't stop thinking about these questions that you are asking. we have to be very careful in answering them. when you mentioned that we had several similar cases recently, yes, these were similar in that guns were used and they were spree killings and mass killings. i can tell you as a medical doctor and psychiatrist who worked closely on cases, there were different motives and mentalities. there people who don't have a conscious. they torture animals. they have no basis in their mind for empathy or sympathy. they learn how to fake it. i believe one of the columbine
killers fit that pattern, but the other was completely different. he was not a psychopath. in the case of the aurora shooter, the jury is not in yet, but i have a feeling we will find he was on the verge of major mental illness about delusions and hallucinations. one time in my life i was responsible for the federal program of mental health services in america. i have to admit we failed. we failed america in protecting the lives of the seriously mentally ill. most of what they do is suffer in silence. their families want to do better by them and as a country we have not stepped up and been sympathetic and caring and appropriate for the seriously mentally ill. >> an extremely important point. what i was going to say is you both have made extremely valid points. you have three successive appalling mass shootings
involving young men in their 20s where the background to all of them, from people that knew them was not dissimilar. they seem to be fairly norma kind of slightly off, but nothing with alarm bells. the point of examining their character is that there must be a good likelihood that there others like that out there who may be considering similar atrocities. how do people who know these types of people spot any warning signs? >> piers -- >> piers -- >> let me start with the doctor. >> i'm sorry. i have three small children. before this interview they asked me what i was doing and we talked about this for about an hour and a half. my 9-year-old got frightened, he goes to elementary school. i explained to him that these things are exceedingly rare. let's not forget, this is exceedingly rare. just because something happened in the last month doesn't statistically make it a common occurrence.
let's be clear and tell our children that. this is an opportunity to turn tragedy into an opportunity to fix some of the things that are terribly broken in our mental health care system and know how to identify people at risk for violence. it's all at the level of state funding. sorry abt get get into the specifics, but it's mental health care and screening of not only young adults and children who offer a good assessment, we can in fact do a much better job of not only caring for the people and identify those who would never be violent if not for a mental illness. that is one bit of the story. there is another part which is what i think that most people are more familiar with and interested in because of movies. the diabolical sociopath. both stories are true, but both are actually quite rare.
>> the final word, make it brief if you may. >> america has more gun deaths than any other advanced nation in the world. we have laws that say if you are seriously mentally ill, you shouldn't possess a weapon and we don't enforce the laws. we have to get together across this divide and need the nra to step up and say they believe in gun safety and not just in gun ownership. we need politicians on both sides of the aisle to tackle this problem. we will have more dead american children. >> thank you both very much. still ahead, we will talk to survivors of another shooting, but next the push for more gun control after the tragedy. we'll debate it. [ female announcer ] imagine skin so healthy, it never gets dry again. can your moisturizer do that? [ female announcer ] dermatologist recommended aveeno has an oat formula, now proven to build a moisture reserve, so skin can replenish itself.
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regardless of the politics. >> president obama on the shooting. the massacre is raising new questions about the access of guns in america. he is urgently calling for more gun control. a former chief economist on the sentencing commission on more guns, less crime. dan gross president of the brady club for nonviolence. the attorney for the michigan and responsible gun owners. let's start with you. you were pretty outspoken saying this is time to bring in new gun control laws. >> yes. if this doesn't wake us up, i don't know what will. i was heartened that the president said we had to take meaningful action and the only thing he can do is lead a crusade for reasonable gun control legislation in congress. these massacres are taking place more and more often. we saw, by the way, today, a very similar incident in china
where a mad man attacked an elementary school in china with a knife. 22 injured children. injured, not dead. that's the difference. in the united states we have 9,000 people killed with guns last year in similar countries like germany, 170 and canada 150. there is a reason for that. >> what would you like to see in terms of specific gun control? >> there a number of pieces of legislation we have been pushing. no reasonable gun owner who is a sportsman can object to bans on assault weapons made only to kill as many human beings as possible like in a military situation. no one can object to a ban on the sale of large ammunition clips so you can't reload. no one can object to microstamping of cartridges so you can trace the weapon. no one can reasonably object to
eliminating the gun show exception so that even if you buy a gun at a gun show they have to check your background to make sure you are not selling a gun to a mentally unstable person, or a felon. those ares we should do. >> we had a heated debate on a previous incident. two things happened in 1996. there was a massacre in tasmania in which 35 people were killed. the australians was right wing and friends of george w. bush and brought in draconian laws after that. he brought in rifles and shotguns. as a result of the next decade, firearm homicide rate fell by 59% and suicide rate fell by 65%. >> not true. >> it is true. >> no, it's not. if you look over time -- >> it is true. >> i'm telling you people can look it up themselves. what you find is for decades the murder rate was falling in
australia. it basically stopped falling. if you compare the average o two decades where it's falling to what it was afterwards, it makes it look like the average before is higher than afterwards. if you look on a year by year basis, there wasn't that fall. >> why does adam lanza's mother need to have these three weapons? >> can i follow-through on the australiaia thing? >> no, why does she need to have these three weapons performed including this semi automatic bushmaster? why would a woman teacher at a kindergarten need these weapons in they are home? allowing therefore a clearly deranged son to take them and commit this atrocity? >> whatever that gun looks like, it's a semi automatic rifle. any hunting rifle is semi automatic. doesn't mean it functions differently. >> he fired off over a hundred
rounds in several minutes with this apparently harmless rifle. >> guns make it easy. >> you are trying to say it's an average gun. he fired over 100 rounds and killed 20 children. 20 children between 5 and 10. what point do you say we get it? it's time for change? >> it is time. we have looked -- >> time to do what? >> to get rid of the gun laws -- >> which ones? >> look at what has happened. all of these occur wrd guns are banned. look at the aurora movie theater shooting. >> what does that have to do with it? seriously? what does that have to do with it. >> you never let me explain. >> you think because it is a gun-free zone. >> look at the aurora movie theater for example. several theaters showing the "batman" movie within a
20-minute drive. only one of those banned guns. he didn't go close toast his home or with the largest screen. he went to the one movie theater that banned guns. if you look at bans generally, you can't point to a place, chicago, d.c. where we ban guns and murder rates and violent crimes went up. in the uk in jamaica and ireland, island nations that banned guns, you can't find a place where murder rates have gone down. they have gone up usually by large amounts. >> you cannot find a place -- >> let me bring in. >> first of all, basically every statistic that john cited is pure bunk in terms of the fact that the more guns equal -- that's true. they were gun-free zones, but attributing that to the fact that this violence occurred, that's where i have to step in. listen, my brother was shot in a shooting on top of the empire
state building which was chaotic. i know firsthand. i talked with the victims from the aurora tragedy. to a person, they all say if there were another person armed, it would have led to more carnage. excuse me. i let you talk, let me finish. let me finish. in every one of the cases they say if there were more guns, it would have only led to more chaos. at the empire building shooting in new york. there were highly trained law enforcement officers in the chaos. there were eight other people shot and every one was an innocent civilian and every one was shot by these law enforcement officers. >> we have the attorney for the responsible gun owners. you believe that there should be more guns in schools. is that right? >> i believe those of us who are licensed to carry are responsible people and shouldn't be prohibited from carrying in schools or other places. in fact, the michigan legislature passed a bill last
night and sent to the governor for signature a bille that will allow those who are licensed to take one more day of training including range time and carry in places where we couldn't carry before. >> why on earth would you want more guns in schools after what happened today? >> here's why, piers. if we could suddenly make all guns disappear, i would have a different position. i spend a lot of time thinking about this and reading about it. i teach a class at the law school level called gun control seminar. and i get a new group every time and we discuss it in detail. the simple facts are guns exist. they are essentially 1800s technology. semi automobiles were in the late 1800s. they are easy to make and last several human lifetimes with minimal maintenance. since guns exist and we know for a fact that the only way to stop an evil person, like the person
you were discussing earlier in the show is to -- >> this is exactly the argument i have been hearing ever since i joined cnn. i joined on air about a week after gabby giffords the congresswoman was shot in the head. ever since then, we have the sikh temple and aurora and the shopping mall and so on and so on. a guy downstairs shot in the head from our new york bureau are. the argument i keep hearing if everybody was was armed, it wouldn't happen. it's a load of total hogwash, isn't it? if everyone in that movie theater had guns, more people would have been killed in the mayhem that erupted. >> the people that stopped the attacks. can i just -- >> the prove in the pudding. you don't see other shootings at gun shows or -- >> you can't give me one example where bystanders were hit in the empire state building. >> proof is many the building. >> you don't see mass shootings at gun shows or shooting ranges. >> they have reasonable gun control laws and they have a hundred people a year not 9,000 or
10,000 a year. >> listen -- >> it was lower before gun control. >> they got the gun control. >> almost zero crime. >> the gun control doesn't change it. >> scotland in 1996 there was a similar school shooting. just an awful situation. 16 young children killed exactly as they were today. as a result of this, they brought in a hand gun ban. 162,000 hand guns were handed in. it is time for this. >> listen -- >> murder rates went up. >> there about 35 murders a year. there 12,000 murders a year from guns in this country. >> the point is -- >> when are you going to focus on that and stop telling me the answer is more guns. it's not the answer. >> listen, listen, listen. >> after the ban it was higher than before the ban. >> you want more guns, not less.
300 million guns in america isn't enough for you? >> when you ban guns -- >> how many kids have to die before you say we want less guns, not more. >> i want to tell you something -- >> let minimum answer the question. >> i'm upset because i'm worried the gun control laws you are push having killed people. >> what a load of nonsense. >> you have to explain. >> average of 35 killings with guns in a britain a year. in here, no ban on guns and 12,000 people a year die from gun murders. >> the difference -- >> you have to understand. >> my i have the tune to say something without screaming? >> i have been debating this all week, following the bob costas thing, i have been debating it months if not years. i'm so frustrated and furious that these kids have been blown away again with legally acquired weapons. boy who's got problems take his
mothers three weaponens including this ridiculous assault rifle and walks in to school and you guys want to tell me the answer is more guns. it is madness. >> how can you stop somebody from shooting people? >> let the congressman speak. >> what i would be most angry about is that every poll shows by massive majorities americans agree with what you just said. and yet we have a lobby, the leadership of the nra who function as enablers of mass murderers, they are enablers of mass murder because they terrified the class of people and even though. >> absolute sli not. >> polling shows most nra members will oppose reasonable gun controls but they lie and say they will take away your guns and take your guns away. >> no one outside of a police officer or military needs one of these in their house. nobody. >> we need to say something.
>> listen, the encouraging thing and what you should take inspiration because we are all frustrated and outraged. this conversation does not represent what the american public. wants. it does not represent the conversation that american public wants to have. we are in favor of background checks. 74% of nra members are and most gun sales do not require a background check. things that we can do. >> it's not as they try to tell me an anti-american thing to say i respect the second amendment and i respect the right for a family to defend themselves. i don't respect families to load their homes with these so a disturbed kid can take them. we are ending the debate for now. >> we are ending the debate for now but this will continue next week. i guarantee it. >> come back next week when you have had time to think about this because you have to change your thinking. the gun lobby has to change its thinking. we will leave it there. coming up next, survivors from other mass shootings share their
a similar picture from another mass shooting in '9959 a jewish community center? california. a 6-year-old was shot in the leg and i am joined by mindy finkle stein. welcome to you all. let me start, if i may, with you. this must have brought back awful memories for you, as i does whenever there is a mass shooting in america. what werer your feelings? >> it's impossible to put words to what i really feel. it's a mixture of sympathy and disgust. my heart goes out to those families. and there are people who have gone through the same thing and who understand what they are
going through. immediately what i thought is i wish there was something i could do to help them. in reality, it's a helpless situation. >> mindy, you survived what happened to you. when you hear the raging gun debates, which i'm sure will be particularly vociferous in light of the appalling incident today, do you wish after what happened to you and josh that tougher laws had been brought in after that to try to do something about this? >> you know, i do. i think that josh and i, and everyone in our community in this weird family that we have of survivors of gun laws wishes the day after what happened to them nobody else has to go through it and unfortunately 13 1/2 years later we are sitting here watching these tragedies unfold on a daily basis you were i think 16 at the time of the shooting. obviously a lot of the kids at the school today will be much younger than that and they will
have lost friends or people they knew at the school. it will be very difficult when they have to go back. what advice would you give them? what is the best way to deal with this? what do you think? >> you know, to be honest, it's heart breaking because they are not going to know really what, or how to feel until five, ten years from now when it keeps haunting them and nightmares and fears that keep coming up. josh can speak to that himself. he was 6 years old at the time and now he's in his 20s and it haunts him every day. i was 16. i knew why i was shot and i knew somebody tried to kill me and every day, i'm almost 30 years old, i'm haunted. there's nothing i can say to them except i'm so, so sorry they have to go through this. i really truly hope that something will be done after today because we cannot stand for this anymore. >> steven, you survived the aurora massacre. that was just a few months ago.
there was a huge outcry then and people promised to do all sorts of things. politician mouths, absolutely nothing happened. and here we are with a worse tragedy, even more dead and this time 20 young kids. what are your views on the debate that will now unfold in this? >> i think the president said that we need a meaningful action now. he said that in the past, so, i'll be waiting for that action. it's a shame that 20 children have to be slain for us to even start to talk about this. i really think the american public is fed up with the lack of conversation on this issue. >> there have been more mass shootings in the last five or six years than i think the previous four decades in terms of these particularly appalling ones an you keep being told it is not as bad as it seems, the situation but it truly is. since i have been here i have
been utterly horrified. that's why i get so animated when i debate this on the show because i come from a country where this would be unthinking, shopping malls, kindergarten classrooms could be shot down on an almost bimonthly basis. i don't know why americans aren't far more angry. >> it's one thing for politicians to take action. it's equally important that the american public demands these reforms, these changes. the polling is clear. there's support for common sense gun reform. 82% of gun owners support universal background checks. it's a failure of the system we haven't arrived at that point yet. >> paula, your brother was killed in the empire state building. when we talked before you believed to ve right to have a handgun and a referendum wasn't needed. what do you feel today? >> the wake of today, a
referendum on guns is needed. i was talking the day my brother was murdered. as a father, with innocent children, i see the heart break. we have to go back to that. we have 26 families that are devastated right now. this is a debate about gun control and mental illness. it is a combination. >> including violent video games and violent hollywood movies. the gun violent culture in america has to be tackled. all areas. there's got to be a proper debate. my argument is the politicians don't want to have this debate. >> they have to. they have to. you have to have a congressman like jerry nadler, a republican congressman step up and get together. this has to be taken